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The remains from an old pier still stand in the ocean right off of the beach at Surf City, NC.

The remains from an old pier still stand in the ocean right off of the beach at Surf City, NC.

Here’s something a little different from me.  I shot this on my recent trip to NC with Zach, Curt and Brad.  We were exploring the beach, looking for sights to shoot on a cold, dismal day and found this abandoned pier, or what’s left of it.  There’s a tower directly behind me that was once part of the pier, and out in the ocean there are these ruins of the wooden part of the structure.  As evidenced by this shot, it has been overtaken by seabirds who use it as a perch above the crashing waves.  The birds were mostly cormorants, fishing birds that probably wait up there until they see something tasty in the water below.  I took several shots of the waves as they continually churned, trying to wash away this manmade intrusion into their territory, but liked the fall of the wave in this one the best, out of the series I shot.

As it was overcast, there wasn’t much in the way of color in this shot, so I decided to convert it to monochrome and make the pier and birds a silhouette against the background of striated skies.  I had another version in color where I boosted the Vibrance in Lightroom, but it just looked too unnatural.  This feels more like what I wanted to accomplish with the shot – moody and solitary.  I shot this handheld with my Nikon 60mm Micro, a superb lens that I don’t use nearly enough.  It’s incredibly versatile, as I can shoot 1:1 macros with it or use it as a more normal lens as I did with this shot.  I think I’ll have to break it out more often, as it really is a fantastic piece of glass.  A final note about this image – it’s not an HDR.  This is a single shot processed in Lightroom 4 and OnOne Perfect Photo Suite.  I used the Casablanca preset to give it the deep shadows and cinematic quality, and then added a touch of Dark Glow to give the shadows an ethereal feel.  I imported the image back into Lightroom to pull a little more detail out of the shadows, bring down the highlights just a bit, and add a little vignetting.  I always welcome comments and feedback, so let me know what you think!

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 60mm Micro, ISO 100, single exposure processed in Lightroom 4 and OnOne Perfect Photo Suite.

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